October 17, 2017
Saint Benedict School Year Theme :
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is  true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phillipians 4:8
Picture Make-up Day
Picture MAKE-UP day is Tuesday, October 24th. Those who were absent on picture day please plan to get your picture taken.  Click here for more information.
From the Clinic

That time of year to touch base with some thoughts and considerations for the months to come. We make every effort at school to ensure that students wash hands and clean surfaces before and after eating. Stair railings, surfaces, and classrooms are cleaned frequently by faculty, staff, and our cleaning crew. In addition, we support children in understanding how germs transmit from one person to another. We also help them, in age appropriate ways, to identify ways in which they can keep their bodies healthy and how to recognize when their bodies don't feel well.

As cold/flu and virus season approaches, we rely heavily on our partnership with you to keep our community healthy. As stated in the handbook, children should stay home from school until they are free from the following symptoms, without medication, for 24 hrs:

Temperature of 100 degrees F or higher
Vomiting or diarrhea
A barky or croupy cough
Mouth sores with drooling
A rash related to known contagious illness or unidentified source

As all parents know, the most effective give way to prevent illness is through good habits including diet, exercise, sleep, and hand washing. Even with these efforts, there are times when children become ill. We appreciate you alerting the front desk and your child's teacher when they are ill and not in school.  For extended absences a doctor's note may be requested by the clinic.
New Staff Member
Please join me in welcoming our newest staff member, Pat Maehr. Pat will serve as the new Director of Development. As you may know, Gretchen Ridgely recently stepped down from the position. Gretchen has done an amazing job of invigorating our Comet Campaign and we all appreciate her energy and enthusiasm these past years.  

Pat comes to us with over 20 years experience in nonprofit development working with large national organizations, as well as small local organizations. She is looking forward to meeting our Saint Benedict family and working with each of you. We ask your patience as we make this transition. Should you have any questions, you may contact Pat at development@saintbenedictschool.org or by calling our main number (804) 254-8850.
Comet Campaign
Our 2017-18 Comet Campaign is up and running, but we need your help to reach 100% participation! Pledge forms are available in the office and at the front desk. Classes that reach 100% participation will be rewarded with an ice cream social!

If you have already pledged, THANK YOU and make sure to sign your family name on the banner in the front hallway of the school. We want to see the names of ALL of our Saint Benedict School families on our banner. For more information or questions, please contact Pat Maehr, Director of Development at pmaehr@saintbenedictschool.org or call the school at 804-254-8850. 
PTO News
Fall Fest is this Saturday, October 21st, 5-8pm. We still have several slots open in need of volunteers. If you are able to help out please take a moment to look over the sign up genius to see where you can help! http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0e45ada623a0f94-fall4

There will be a Fall Fest meeting immediately following our PTO meeting this Thursday, October 19th. A brief but MANDATORY volunteer training will be held for all volunteers working the check in table or serving beer.

If you are sending in donations for Fall Fest please have them in by Friday morning.
Fall Fest tickets will be available for sale at the door. Ticket prices at the door will be $15 per BBQ meal, $8 per hot dog meal and $10 per adult beverage wristband.

Please consider sending in cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pies, etc. for the Cake Walk to be held during Fall Fest. Either homemade or fresh from the store, whatever works for you! Please send your item in to school or drop it off in the school kitchen on Friday, October 20th. Each donated food item counts as ½ hour toward your annual PTO hour requirement SO BE SURE TO LABEL YOUR ITEM (and remember to log it into RenWeb as well). Please consider sending in items that DO NOT need to be refrigerated due to limited storage space.

Other PTO News: There are many ways to support our school without purchasing anything you wouldn't be buying already. For those who shop at Kroger, the Community Rewards program gives a percentage of your purchases to the non-profit of your choice. They require that you re-enroll annually. Enroll by going to www.kroger.com/communityrewards and entering our school code: 82176. Thanks to those of you who participated last year, the school just received a check from Kroger for over $200.
School Lunch Ordering
The ordering window for November and December lunches is open.  Orders are placed through ParentWeb.
Student Council News
This year again the Student Council will again be collecting pop tops from aluminum cans to donate to the Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue. Last year, even though we got a late start, we collected over 30 pounds of tops which paid for a family of 4 to stay at the house for a night. Please save and send in your pop tops! 

Other News: The Student Council will be sponsoring a dance on Friday, October 27th from 6:30-8:30pm in Saint Anselm Hall. The dance is for Saint Benedict middle school students only. The cost of the dance is $5 or $4 if you come in costume. There will be a prize for the best costume of the night. We ask that each 8th grade student bring a snack to share, 7th grade students bring candy to share, and 6th grade students bring a 2-liter bottle of soda. We will have a DJ and a photo booth. Start planning your costume and come out and have fun with your fellow middle schoolers. Parents who would like to chaperone, please make sure your VIRTUS information is in order and contact Mr. Cichocki at jcichocki@saintbenedictschool.org.
Family Rosary Mission
October is the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary. This tradition is based on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7). Pope St. Pius V established this feast to commemorate the victory won by Christian forces over the Ottoman Empire at Lepanto (1571), which was obtained by beseeching the Virgin Mary’s help through the Rosary. To celebrate the month of the Rosary and to pray for the SBCS community, both living and dead, we will hold a Rosary Mission from October 1 through All Souls' Day on November 2. Pope Pius IX said, "if you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary." We want to encourage our entire community--children, parents, and the whole family--to pray together for peace, for our loved ones, and for the greater glory of God.
VIRTUS and Background Screening
All volunteers working with or near children in the school must
  • Have current background screening (every 5 years).
  • Have attended a VIRTUS training session, and consistently complete the monthly training bulletin, as evidenced by answering a short multiple-choice question at the end of the reading (Bulletin is sent monthly via e-mail)

Some examples of positions that REQUIRE VIRTUS and Background Screening: chaperone, lunch server, tour guide, greeter, comet shop, picture day, class room rep.

Some examples of positions that don't normally require VIRTUS and Background Screening: bringing food, event set-up, event clean-up, gala, school board, clean up day

If you will not be working at the school or at another Diocesan location with or near children or vulnerable adults you don't need to meet the VIRTUS and Background Screening requirements. If you have a VIRTUS account, you may ask for it to be made inactive and it can be made active again should you need it in the future.  You will not have to retake VIRTUS, but you will not need to keep up with the monthly training bulletin. The Diocese pays for active accounts so if you do not need the account it would save the Diocese the cost of keeping your account active unnecessarily.  If you want your account to be made inactive for the ENTIRE DIOCESE just email Elizabeth Hanson, ehanson@saintbenedictschool.org.

If you have taken VIRTUS but don't have a current background screening on file with the Diocese, you should have received an email from Elizabeth Hanson or Maria Jaramillo recently. Please decide if you want your account to be made inactive or that you want to submit a background screening and then communicate your decision to Elizabeth or Maria. We are gratefully for all your hard volunteer work and for your efforts to help keep our children safe.
Parish News
Voter Education Materials
On Tuesday, November 7, Virginians will elect their governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. To help voters prepare for these elections the Virginia Catholic Conference has released its 2017 voter education materials. The Conference has compiled three separate side-by-side comparisons of the positions of candidates for state offices. Conference staff compiled Know the Positions of the Candidates for Governor, Know the Positions of the Candidates for Lieutenant Governor, and Know the Positions of the Candidates for Attorney General from policies, public statements, official campaign websites, party platforms and other sources. The Conference, which represents Virginia’s bishops on public policy matters, neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. As they consider these races and also local House of Delegates races, voters are encouraged to turn to the wisdom of the Catholic Church as they form their consciences by consulting the Four Principles of Catholic Social Teaching. These materials can be found www.vacatholic.org. Spanish translations are also available.
Parish Children's Choir
Children in grades 2–8 are encouraged to sing in the Parish Children’s Choir. Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 3–4pm in the school library. The Children’s Choir allows young people to deepen their appreciation and love for liturgical music, and provides basic instruction in singing and musicianship.The Children’s Choir will sing monthly at various weekend Masses, as well as select holidays during the school year.

For more information, please contact Joel S. Kumro, Choirmaster and Organist, at jkumro@saintbenedictparish.org or 804.254.8810 x112.
Upcoming Dates:
Oct. 19  PTO Meeting 6-7 PM in the cafeteria
Oct. 20 School Mass 8:30am in the church (middle school wear dress uniform)
Oct. 21 Fall Fest 5-8 PM
Oct. 24 Picture Make Up Day